The Altered Echo Project
AEP8.1: Ambient Mechanics – The Tide – Tidal Remixes

Out Now

In the five months since our last release Aaron and I have decided to take our experiment in sound to it’s next level. The idea behind The Altered Echo Project from day one has been, in essence, a foray into the world of audio manipulation and the recreation of sound. An artist creates something unique which then gets picked up by another who expands upon the original and makes the vision one of their own. In honor of ushering in Phase II of the project a change has occurred in one of our previous releases.

Our twelfth offering in the AEP catalog brings you a complete reinterpretation of AEP008: The Tide – Tidal and in doing so brings us one step closer to a self perpetuating catalog heavily entrenched in it’s own heritage.

All tracks mixed & composed by Ambient Mechanics
Mastering and Artwork by Mike Watts
Published by Aaron Smith and Rick Jeldy via the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution License


Stems, Samples, and Midi…

As with our previous releases, AM has provided extra insight, in the form of a sample pack with the EP deconstructed into separate audio and midi files for all your remix needs. Use them, abuse them, do with what you will. It is our hope however that you, our listener turned artist, will find inspiration in what you hear and submit new works spawned from the old, back to us for possible republication through this project.

Clicking this block of text will activate an immediate download of nearly one gig of stems, samples, and MIDI data.

On the Horizon…

Be on the lookout for information on open submission periods, VA compilations, sonic annihilation and much much more, as AEP takes the year 2015 by storm.

The Altered Echo Project wishes to thank AM for providing us with this fabulous material, and Mike Watts for the AMAZING masters and source material. We’d also like to thank YOU the listener for checking out the project and participating in what we have created.

AM –
DotCom
SoundCloud
Band Camp

AEP-
DotCom
SoundCloud
BandCamp
FaceBook

The clue is in the name. Go get it, listen, get the stems, make a remix.
-Tim

The Altered Echo Project
AEP8.1: Ambient Mechanics – The Tide – Tidal Mutation

A Change Has Occured…

In the five months since our last release Aaron and I have decided to take our experiment in sound to it’s next level. The idea behind The Altered Echo Project from day one has been, in essence, a foray into the world of audio manipulation and the recreation of sound. An artist creates something unique which then gets picked up by another who expands upon the original and makes the vision one of their own. In honor of ushering in Phase II of the project a change has occurred in one of our previous releases.

Our twelfth offering in the AEP catalog brings you a complete reinterpretation of AEP008: The Tide – Tidal and in doing so brings us one step closer to a self perpetuating catalog heavily entrenched in it’s own heritage. From this day forth, in accordance with Phase II, the Altered Echo Project will only be accepting works which employ heavy use of our in-house sound library, or, works that are direct mutations of previously released material. In honor of this, bringing a stunning collection of works just as unique as their originals, The Altered Echo Project is pleased to announce…

Ambient Mechanics – The Tide – Tidal Remixes

Out 24 March, 2015

Preview – Ultima Thule

Tracklisting –

1. Ara Borealis

2. City By The Sea

3. A Dark Blue Sky

4. Ultima Thule

5. When The Sun Returns

6. Tidal

All tracks mixed & composed by Ambient Mechanics
Mastering and Artwork by Mike Watts
Published by Aaron Smith and Rick Jeldy via the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution License


Stems, Samples, and Midi…

As with our previous releases, AM will provide extra insight, in the form of a sample pack with the EP deconstructed into separate audio and midi files for all your remix needs. Use them, abuse them, do with what you will. It is our hope however that you, our listener turned artist, will find inspiration in what you hear and submit new works spawned from the old, back to us for possible republication through this project.

On the Horizon…

Be on the lookout for information on open submission periods, VA compilations, sonic annihilation and much much more, as AEP takes the year 2015 by storm.

The Altered Echo Project wishes to thank AM for providing us with this fabulous material, and  Mike Watts for the AMAZING masters and source material. We’d also like to thank YOU the listener for checking out the project and participating in what we have created.

AM –

SoundCloud

Band Camp

AEP-

DotCom

SoundCloud

BandCamp

FaceBook

The clue is in the name. Go get it, listen, get the stems, make a remix.
-Tim

AE

The Altered Echo Project
AEP8.1: Ambient Mechanics – The Tide – Tidal Remixes

A Change Has Occured…

In the five months since our last release Aaron and I have decided to take our experiment in sound to it’s next level. The idea behind The Altered Echo Project from day one has been, in essence, a foray into the world of audio manipulation and the recreation of sound. An artist creates something unique which then gets picked up by another who expands upon the original and makes the vision one of their own. In honor of ushering in Phase II of the project a change has occurred in one of our previous releases.

Our twelfth offering in the AEP catalog brings you a complete reinterpretation of AEP008: The Tide – Tidal and in doing so brings us one step closer to a self perpetuating catalog heavily entrenched in it’s own heritage. From this day forth, in accordance with Phase II, the Altered Echo Project will only be accepting works which employ heavy use of our in-house sound library, or, works that are direct mutations of previously released material. In honor of this, bringing a stunning collection of works just as unique as their originals, The Altered Echo Project is pleased to announce…

Ambient Mechanics – The Tide – Tidal Remixes

Out 24 March, 2015

Preview – Ultima Thule

Tracklisting –

1. Ara Borealis

2. City By The Sea

3. A Dark Blue Sky

4. Ultima Thule

5. When The Sun Returns

6. Tidal

All tracks mixed & composed by Ambient Mechanics
Mastering and Artwork by Mike Watts
Published by Aaron Smith and Rick Jeldy via the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution License


Stems, Samples, and Midi…

As with our previous releases, AM will provide extra insight, in the form of a sample pack with the EP deconstructed into separate audio and midi files for all your remix needs. Use them, abuse them, do with what you will. It is our hope however that you, our listener turned artist, will find inspiration in what you hear and submit new works spawned from the old, back to us for possible republication through this project.

On the Horizon…

Be on the lookout for information on open submission periods, VA compilations, sonic annihilation and much much more, as AEP takes the year 2015 by storm.

The Altered Echo Project wishes to thank AM for providing us with this fabulous material, and  Mike Watts for the AMAZING masters and source material. We’d also like to thank YOU the listener for checking out the project and participating in what we have created.

AM –

SoundCloud

Band Camp

AEP-

DotCom

SoundCloud

BandCamp

FaceBook

The clue is in the name. Go get it, listen, get the stems, make a remix.
-Tim

AE

P72CoverPhomorian’s newest EP – Desensitization Reassociation as released by BFW Recordings – grabbed my attention on a social media feed just shortly after it’s release. Phomorian, for those that don’t know, is one of the top players here in our game we call The Altered Echo Project. Based upon his previous output with us – Grain Bastard Mutation & A Sum of the Product – as soon as I saw his newest EP hit the proverbial shelf I knew it was a recording that would be far more worthy than a simple click of the play button in my spare time.

If there was one thing I knew about Phomorian, prior to hearing this release, it was that his tracks possess a quality that blurs the line between beauty and chaos. Desensitization Reassociation is no exception to this rule, and is an album that quite expertly expands upon it. The tracks that he has released via AEP and the tracks on his new EP have a way of leaving me scratching my head in a how’d he do that kind of way so I was thrilled when Phomorian agreed to do this interview. If you have yet to listen to this wonderful release hit play below as you sit back and read. Shedding an all new light on his most recent album from technical details, to ethos, and many things in between Aaron and I are honored to present, one of AEP’s own, Phomorian…

One striking quality about this record is contrast. The tracks have a way of going from ambient to neuro at a moments notice with various elements unifying the two worlds in a very logical way. Was the melding of these two worlds something you found to come natural to you or was it a thing born out of focused practice? Do you have any tips for our readers on how to transition from something more ambient and esoteric to in your face neuro within the same piece of music?

Rather than intentional it is something that I can’t avoid. I started listening to ambient/drone style about a year ago and I was influenced by it, but when I tried to make music in that way I was instinctively dragged to a part where the beat comes on.I have to recognize that I was jealous when hearing to other artists, holding that “ethereal feel” without the need of braking it, but it is probably because the way I understand music; a soft part to introduce the piece helps the listener to get into the mood and also makes the sensation of the track much bigger, as a history told from the very beginning that displays the origin of the factors involved on it. This sort of non rhythmic intro happens in the Hindustani music and many other traditions.
As a tip to others there’s nothing new I can tell, listen music -wich is the biggest source of ideas- and practice, don’t be afraid of copying and stealing to integrate those ideas until you find your own ways.
I like the album and each track as a whole. For my tastes though my favorite parts of the record come from the more ambient side of things. Do you find one aspect easier than the other, the ambient vs the, what I’m calling, neuro type twisted bass type stuff? If so why?
I find harder the “neuro type” parts, probably because there are more elements involved, also the mix of those parts gets more difficult until you get a sound where more or less everything can be heard with clarity.
Lets talk about that twisted bass for a min. How do you arrive at these type sounds? Is it by selection or design? Take us through your process in bass design and your method of making it twist and turn in the way you do?
I am relatively new on synthesis. I used to choose presets and modify them slightly until a student from a course of production which I was imparting said he preferred to make his own sounds, because having to choose between hundreds of presets made fun disappear. At that point it was when I started making my own sounds and discovered that these (may not as spectacular as the ones in the list of presets) fit much better with the track … and were also mine, original and made the production process more craft and entertaining. In tracks 1, 2 and 4 the bass sound is made with Massive, I started following a tutorial by Anodyne Industries that I find in IDMforums, with two LFOs affecting the filter and other one inversely affecting the amount of those firsts, the only trick is maybe assign a different length to each LFO rate so the sound will be changing for longer. I mean, if one LFO is set to 5 eighths and other is set in 7 eighths, the result will be a cycle of 35 eighths of a changing sound.
The sound in track 3 is generated by two Operators, trying first to get a rich harmonic source with a deep bass at the same time, and then processed in parallel thru a rack of filters and EQs with the frequency controlled by the same macro, but with different amounts and sometimes conversely. So with only one knob (or automation line) many notch and bandpass filters moves around generating interesting modulations.
The bass in track 5 was made by a different way, by resampling, this is something I should do more often instead of keeping the midi tracks always running. So basically I converted the midi to audio, after made several versions of it by processed with different effects, reversing etc, and finally making a collage layering those processed audios with the original.
There’s a multiband processing for all the basses of the EP. Nothing really new, the low band in mono, with a compressor that side chains to the kick to avoid phase cancellation; in the mid sometimes distortion and the high sometimes with a little amount of a short reverb to make it more spacey.
Like I said my favorite parts of the album come from the ambiance combined with the ever present glitch. Listening to the record from that point of view, studying the chord structures and progressions, leads one to believe that you might perhaps be classically trained, or at least know a fair amount of theory. First off is this the case? What steps did you take to learn it? How important is it, do you think, to learn theory if you’re wanting to make electronic music and how far does one need to go.
Guess it’s not a very common story, at the age of 18 (I was already playing electric guitar, bass and drums with several bands) when I took LSD for the first time with my father, we are talking about a major dose. This opened the perception to a variety of musical styles that until then I was indifferent, as the aforementioned Hindustani, which is really psychedelic. It was a fundamental part of my way to understand and feel the music, and I consider part of my musical education, but not theoretical. Actually music is my Day Job – not the electronic one. I had some classical formation at the Spanish Conservatory (only for 5 years) and also learned outside it because for the last 20 years approx. I’ve been playing with several bands, making music for theatre, video, apps and also working as sound engineer at the studio etc… This said, harmony is by far my weakest composing skill.
I don´t really think that theory is an essential requirement for making music, but it helps, as any kind of musical knowledge or resources that will feed your creations.
There’s only two essential requirements to make music (any kind) decently I think, instinct and training, so if if you have a great musical instinct but you don’t work to develop it your compositions probably won’t be mature or relevant; and if you don’t have some instinct or any kind of creativity or any musical sense (if only a little) doesn’t matter how much you practice. Those requirements are also applicable to the fact of playing an instrument.
In my opinion the singularity needed for being an electronic musician (unlike other genres) is to be half musician and half sound engineer, because the sound desing / mix / etc is a very relevant part of the composition itself.
Staying in line with the previous question what is your strategy for composing a chord progression? Are you doing it by ear in a trial and error type way or do you already have some sort of idea what the chord progressions and shapes are going to be before you put pen to paper or midi to DAW?
I don´t really know… most of the times when I make music (any kind) I don’t have a plan, don’t know what is going to happen next… I just build on the fly.  I may have some resources, such as moving towards the relative minor etc, but basically I write chords that give me the sensation that I seek. If one of them does not provide me the desired feeling I change it.
There is a similar feel to all these questions just applied to different aspects of production. In light of that talk to us about your process for arriving at your pad sounds. Some artists have specific techniques they revisit and modify for various applications and tracks others arrive at a sound by fiddling. Whatever yours happens to be it makes no matter because it works really well but what is your overall method, ethos, what have you, when it comes to designing sound.
When it comes to atmospheric sounds I have no method, I do is listen and add sounds to cover the spectrum, amplitude, texture (I like to use granular synthesis for this), depth. etc.. adding a background of random noises works fine also. Something I’ve learned from others is to restrict the stereo image… if everyone is fully open I do not like the result, so I try to set different ranges for a more three-dimensional perspective.
What I’m most interested in learning from you via this conversation is…the glitch. I recently saw you speaking to Jazzyspoon about a Reaktor patch that you used in some capacity in making the drums what they are in this release. Explain to us what that patch / device / ensemble is and what it does. How heavily was this used in the release? Are you relying solely on the output of devices of this nature or are there some manual edits going on as well with the audio files? How much time, after the bare bones drum track is composed are you spending in edits and glitching of the file?
The reaktor ensemble that you’re talking about is a combination by Jazzyspoon that I used in the last track of the EP, made with Spiral and Acid Rex , the later is a loop player with multiple effects that are switched by the incoming midi notes, and the first is a note generator, so what it does is to play a loop with changing effect giving it a constant glitchy variation. Instead of using it as a loop player I used to process the output of one of the drum kits (there were six in that track), then I changed the density of glitches by automating the speed of Spiral. What I do more often for similar purposes is to use a set of tracks in serial, each track has an effect with the parameters automated always changing, so the audio pass thru the first to the second and so on. After this serial process it could be drastically deformed. Then (again with automation) I send alternatively the signal of different elements, so sometimes is processing a drum line, after the bass, after nothing etc. It is a very simple way to get aberrant results.
Usually I build the biggest part of my tracks in one day but then I can spend weeks arranging, modifying automation and mixing.
I’ve noticed from watching you on-line that you use Ableton Live. Talk to us about in-built live devices that you are using to effect percussion. Max4live is a similar tool to the one mentioned in the previous question, Reaktor. Are you incorporating MAX for any of your glitch effects or randomized things that are going on within the percussion in this release? If so what patches are you using? Do you build your own either within Reaktor or MAX? I guess what I’m really asking here is…when it comes to glitch what’s your secret?
In my opinion the goal of Ableton Live (in which I am relatively new) is the modularity (opposed to the internal latency correction engine, wich is a mess) so with simple blocks a very complex device can be constructed. I like randomness, I can see the beauty in the small changes and I always try to escape from the repetitions; like in the sounds of the everyday life. If you heard the traffic for example, it is apparently a constant noise but indeed it’s always different. But when you have a piece where the rhythm of every line is random there’s a leak in the sense of unity, so it doesn’t work (unless is that un-united feel what you’re looking for).
So I’ve been experimenting to get a method where all the track is affected by the same random facts and a way to be able to modify different aspects of the randomization itself. Is what I call with my friends “controlled randomization”.The way I do is to process a very simple midi line with arpeggiators and/or midi echoes to make it more complex, doing it in parallel so I get two lines, one that I call “NORMAL” and like an answer to that one that I call “CONTRA” trying to adjust the arps/delays to get as result a two rhythmic patterns that sounds interesting when played at the same time. This way we have one variation of the rhythm, but more are needed…so I finally made ten ones, organized in two sets of five each in semi serial mode. After some experimentation I ended up using midi velocity to lead the incoming notes to any of the 10 different processing possibilities. With Ableton’s Velocity plugin I do so. First in the chain randomizing all velocities and after using the plugin as a velocity gate with a knob controlling the “lowest” or “range” parameter of several instances of it. The result is a machine with 19 racks (inside each other) about 20 Velocity plugins and many-many arps and echos (that I modify for each piece).
This device is controlled by eight knobs and the crossfade, the latter set the amount of notes that will go to one of the two sets of five variations or to the other one, and the knobs determine the amount of notes that (once they entered in any of those sets) is processed by an arp/echo or pass to the next… so if the first knob of a set is at maximum value then the first arp will process all the incoming midi notes; the more it goes to minimum more notes will continue to the next and so on.This midi processor can be used not only for drums, any sliced material, like a bass stem or whatever, can be feeded with it (with the NORMAL output, the CONTRA or both) wich makes it a great tool for remixing, also giving the chance to modify the groove/feel/rhythm of many elements at once. It can also generate like morphing effects in rhythm etc. I’ve used it in all the tracks except “Cosmic”. In Max4live or Reaktor I only use devices created by others, a similar device could be built with any of them but I have no skills to do it.
Talk to us about your label BFW Recordings. How did you meet the guys over there? Why did you select them to represent your material? What was the process from demo submission to release like with them? The internet is highly saturated with all manner of artist representation. In light of that, what do you think are their strengths and what can they offer an artist over the rest of the heap?
I found BFW Recordings surfing the web looking for IDM netlabels, I submitted my material to a few but they were the only ones that gave me an answer. Electronic music has been my passion for many years, but I never released any tracks officially until the “Grain Bastard Mutation” and “A Sum of the Product”, both with AEP, at that time I realized how positive this could be, it’s not only the fact that your music can be heard by others and the feedback you get (this is probably more like an ego thing) in my case is a question of motivation, having a deadline or a purposeful pushes me to finalize the tracks. These ones have been in a dead point for months till I received the answer by BFW in January.
Critiquing your own work can be a nearly impossible thing to do but talk to us about your honest thoughts on this release. Is there anything you would have done differently? What about the album to you stands out the most? How long did it take you to make? Do you have a favorite track? And finally…What’s next up on your agenda? Are you just going to bask in the afterglow of this release for a while or are you already planning the next one?
I’m pretty satisfied with the release, I wouldn’t change nothing relevant on it. Started some of these tracks in february of 2014 so the whole process took like a year and my favourite tracks are “Blurred Landscape” and “Cosmic”. Releasing this has reactivated me so I’m working in new tracks and planning another EP… but in doubt if a glitchy dubstep or idm-breakcore one.
—-
As the other half of the Altered Echo Project I’d like to extend the gratitude of both Aaron and myself to Phomorian for taking time out of his life to do this interview for us. Aaron and I would also like to extend out thanks to the folks at BFW Recordings for letting us participate in the release in this way. All applicable links and contacts can be found below… 
 Phomorian
BFW Recordings
AEP
——–
The clue is in the name. Go get it, listen, get the stems, make a remix.

-Tim

AE

a0079059577_2Proton42 is an artist who is as creative as he is unique. One quick listen through his most recent Pegasia Music release “Fallacracy” proves that electronic music can be truly emotive even in the absence of lyrical content that dictates to the listener what those emotions are to be.

It’s a record that will remind you of your youth, holds a strong presence in the things of today, while looking forward to the influences of tomorrow. With little regard for musical norms, it’s an album that holds up, and an album that promises to remain current should you happen to revisit it years down-line.

Proton42 has been kind enough to give our readers a bit of insight into what’s driving this record, from technical details, to ethos, and many things in between. If you have yet to listen to this wonderful release please hit the play  button below as you sit back and read. Shedding an all new light on his most recent album, and the 33rd in the Pegasia Music Catalog – AEP is honored to give you Proton42…

The album is unabashedly electronic in a very good way. In an independent electronic music world that is increasingly moving towards organic type sounds, field recordings both manipulated and not, sampling and the like, Fallacracy seems to take a strong electronic position. Was this intentional, and if so, why?

 I think it’s more of a subconscious decision than a purely intentional one, but there are a handful of definite reasons for sticking to raw electronic tonal qualities. I’d say reason number one is the huge amount of influence I took from early video game music and toy piano keyboards in my youth, and the concept of attempting to reproduce natural acoustics with very basic means. Another big reason for this can be attributed directly to the low budget of my sudio, working with freeware VST and replications of old gaming console chips, and not wanting to put out more organic works if they can’t be as pristine as possible. That said, I don’t think the purely electronic means is going to be a habit with me, just a current reality.
 
The album very much feels like a single unit as opposed to eight random tracks composed over time then thrown together for a release. Take us through your process of composing an album vs. composing a one off. Are you making the tracks with the larger vision in mind, or do you just have a developed sound at which you usually arrive no matter what you are composing for, be it a collection of works or a single track?
 
Yeah, this was a very different and much needed change of approach for me. It’s definitely a combination of both working to achieve a larger vision and developing a collection of techniques that I have become comfortable with over the years. For a really long time I would just sit down and program one-offs, but they don’t always compliment each other in an album setting, and sitting down to program a piece of music is very different than sitting down in front of a piano and letting performance of the instrument offer it’s own technique. Even so, I could use the same techniques and arrive at different places with them. I think what keeps this album together is sticking to certain devices and VST, not going overboard with the technologies and with such drastic differences.
 
You recently said; “I hope the album can invoke unique hidden emotion in people…”  Are there key elements within your tracks that you go to, to give Fallacracy it’s emotive feel? If so what are they? If not just feel free to simply elaborate on the quote there.
 

This is definitely more of a reactionary response to an issue I have with lots of popular music today and it’s emotional intentions, and maybe it’s just me being anti-pop and not having traditional values. I just feel that music today plays on the emotions of the consumer rather than the emotions of the artist. We can all generally assume that the listener could be in a mood to listen to something happy, or angry, or sad. Where is the wonder and excitement in playing on the simplest of emotions, where has the adventure of questioning our deeper feelings gone? I don’t want people to continue feeling their own happiness, or sadness, or anger, I want the listener to step out of their skin and feel the mystery, hope, excitement of the unknown, and resolve that I do. I want to compose music that invokes something other than the simplest of emotions, because our brains are capable of so much more than basic thought.

 My favorite tracks off the album are “Weeks End” and the title track “Fallacracy.” Much of this record sounds like something that should live in both todays world and 1988 at the same time. Talk to us about influence. What music from then [if any] and now are you most  taking influence from, and what were you primarily listening to while making this record?
 
Well without too much name dropping and to get the question of current influences and what I am listening to at the time out of the way I’ve been heavily digging into WARP, Ghostly, Metropolis and i, absentee records. There is just some kind of powerful deeper emotion and philosophy going on with the artists who choose these labels, without getting too deep into the sea of microgenres we’ve created for ourselves in the electronic music world.
As for music of the past, video games had far too much of an influence on me. Video game music exists in this strange realm where the intent is to create more than one singular emotion for every unique event that happens in a game’s story, just as I want to explore deeper the emotions we experience through music. Popular music of the 60’s-80’s was also in a kind of flux where people could get away with just about any form of deepness or strangeness and I really respected a lot of psychedelic and new wave electronic artists telling stories and provoking thought.
 
The album feels very fluid and lose in a very relaxed and nice way. How did you compose this? Are you sequencing notes or playing them by hand? What’s your strategy for coming up with melody? 
 
This album was very unique for me in that I was more concerned with getting the melodies and composition out in a live setting as opposed to sitting down and sequencing the whole thing. It’s very frustrating when you sequence a piece of music that you want to jam to and ends up being too technically advanced to play. I also feel like playing an instrument lends itself to a different process of thought and different technique. The visual aspect of pattern recognition and piano playing is just more comfortable for the mind than plucking out each note of a chord on the computer keyboard. There is still a lot of sequencing in terms of the drums and some minor harmonic flair.
 
Lets talk about drums. I love the drum sequencing and drum design in this record. Do you arrive at your drum sounds via design, selection, or a combination of both? Tell us as much about composing and sequencing a drum track as you’d like because the drums on this record really shine. 
 
The percussions on this album are a mixture of loops and sequenced VST based hits, heavily processed. Outside of the processing I’ve done, I can’t claim responsibility for the design of a lot of these percussions, most of the loops came with a version of cakewalk sonar packaged with my audio device, and a lot of the one-shots are from psychic modulation VST. So, in answer to your question it all falls down to selection first, and then processing to compliment the synthesis.
 
Moving onto synths and sounds, the next question is the same as the last really. Do you arrive at your sounds via design, selection, or both? Are there specific synths that you go to for specific tasks? The sound design on the record is not only unique but listenable, cohesive, and very solid. That said please take us through your process, methodology, and ethos as related to sound making. 
 
The synthesis is very special to me, I feel the melodic instruments have the most power in a piece of music. It’s hard to explain in depth where I start here because a lot of the time it is so simple, I find simplicity works best and allows the brain to focus easier than having to parse all sorts of complexity.
Usually I will load up a VST and have a listen to some key presets. Once I find one I like, I will pull out the piano and start jamming out some melody that utilizes the preset’s range. Once I am happy with the melody, I will begin to alter the preset tonally and apply automation or side chain certain parameters.
The idea is to make sure the tone is unrecognizable as the preset it was but contains the tonal qualities I was looking for to begin with. Then, I will process the percussions to compliment the instrumentation, and I will keep altering the instrumentation to further compliment the percussions.
Sometimes I do know exactly what tone I am looking for and design it from scratch, sometimes it is warranted and sometimes you just need a good push in the right direction altering a preset you enjoy. Everything about the quality of the design has to do with the effects chains I create for them after the fact and how I decide to mix it all together.
 
How long did the album take you to make, and when you sat down to make the first track were you planning on making an album? Was the first track you made track one on the record, or were they made in a different order than what we hear on the album? Do you have a favorite? Any significance to the track titles? 
 

It couldn’t have taken me longer than four months, (I really don’t document that sort of thing) mostly because I was so dead set on creating something more than a handful of singles that I would throw on an album. I already had a pretty solid plan of what I was trying to acheive and just dove right into it. The tracks didn’t develop in the same order they appear on the album, but they all developed at the same time we will say. A lot of getting all of the tracks to compliment each other was a labor of many alterations of every mix. Say the bass is too loud in 3 of the 8 tracks, I will edit those 3 and leave the rest. Then for instance the pads are too loud in 5 of the 8, I will go in and clean them all up at the same time. Sometimes I will add more when I go in to the mixes, if they felt flat compared to the other tunes. This whole project was an experience in balance for me and I couldn’t treat each mix as individually as I was used to, they all needed to have the same qualities and genetics.The track titles? Nebulous really. Some of them were suggestions from friends, some were more apparent from composition (such as Vertical Dive), Seetle was conceived when I was visiting Seattle and is something of a Tim and Eric reference, inside jokes, that sort of thing.

You have released with Pegasia Music before, yes? Besides being ran by the notorious Mr. Ben Steed any particular reason you decided to have them represent Fallacracy?
 
Just seemed like a good idea at the time. Ben’s always been a very vocal supporter of my work and I’ve always wanted to combat my release of singles with something more substantial. I feel the Pegasia crowd already have that kind of foot in the door with my project and “Classics”, the body of work that has released on Pegasia is also so unique and independent that I felt it would be the perfect place for this release to settle down, among family one would say.
 
So, I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure if Fallacracy was a real word or not so I Googled it. The only hit I received was a link to your record. Define Fallacracy?
 
Hah, no it’s not a word. It’s a compound of the words Fallacy and Democracy, which I felt was very politically poignant. Micropoet Michael Chong defines fallacracy as when “…the matters of public interest are not debated but debased.” I think we do live in a Fallacracy, we are constantly lied to and distracted from issues that should be dealt with democratically, and the democratic process is often subverted through bribery and corporate control. I like the term, it feels too true, but of course this is art and all art is open to interpretation. One can either agree, or disagree, and elaborate. The things I say and do as an artist are not always meant as ultimate unavoidable truths, no one is infallible especially not in a Fallacracy.
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As the other half of the Altered Echo Project I’d like to extend the gratitude of both Aaron and myself to Proton for taking time out of his life to do this interview for us. Aaron and I would also like to extend out thanks to Mr. Ben Steed and the rest of the folks at Pegasia Music for letting us participate in the release in this way. All applicable links and contacts can be found below…
Proton42
Pegasia Music
AEP
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“The clue is in the name. Go get it, listen, get the stems, make a remix.”

-Tim

AE

What’s Up 2015!?

In 2014 all three of us were overwhelmed with the response we got to the Altered Echo Project. What started as a will to release some good tunes on Rick’s part and the idea of an “endless remix” that I’d been kicking around for a while, AEP has become so much more, thanks to the artists and audience. To our artists, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful music with us all. Many thanks to anyone who listened, participated, or donated. To those of you who donated, an extra thank you! A significant portion of our modest operating cost for 2015 will be covered by listener donations.

In 2015 you will see the Altered Echo Project move on to “phase II” in which we attempt to fully realize the idea of an “endless remix”, a continual mutation of sounds. In 2015 we will release only material that relies heavily on the samples and files provided by our very generous artists from 2014. As always we are accepting anything from standard remixes to total sonic annihilation and anything that exists between. We will also be holding an open submission period for such material—details to come.

2015 will also see some other steps forward. In an effort to support the community that supported us, we will try and promote underground electronic musicians through a blog/promo series in which we interview artists about their new works and post that material on our website.

Our first feature spotlights the fantastic track “Discovery” by Burudu and Rikki Sho feat Amy Claire on vocals.

Be on the lookout in the next few days for an all new Artist Spotlight featuring Proton42 giving an in-depth discussion of his newest Pegasia release – Fallacracy. That will be shortly followed by an all new, full length release, formally ushering in Phase II, with a complete reinterpretation of our 8th release in the catalog AEP008 The Tide – Tidal.

And Please…

Don’t forget to like us on FaceBook and follow us on SoundCloud

Thanks again. Wishing you all the best in 2015.

Sincerely,

Aaron, Rick, Mike

 

Discovery Cover

“Discovery” by Rikki Sho and Burudu feat. Amy Claire

For me, “Discovery” is one of those tracks that I know I will continue to come back to, whether it be purposefully or by accident. I live in Ohio. And between harsh winters and nine months of gray days it can be quite depressing at times—I can imagine coming across this song some dark winter morning and being warmed and inspired by the swirling, uplifting melodies and vocals of this tune.

In an electronic music market saturated with short attention span songs this progressive epic is quite refreshing—this is a tune for daybreak and soft comedowns. At just one second over ten minutes, I am always surprised at how quickly I get lost in the narrative of the song: the pulsing interplay between soft kick drum and bubbling bass and the guitar and piano chords chasing Amy’s voice across the soundscape all make for a journey I want to go on over and over.

It is no surprise that this tune is the brain child of four artists—Nakul and Sahil of Burudu, Rikki Sho and vocalist Amy Claire—but how did they do it?

An Interview with the Artists

How did the four of you end up working together? Who approached whom?

Rikki: Burudu (Nakul & Sahil) and I had our own separate releases on a (now defunct) label – Red Light Café Recordings – in 2013.

I loved their release – a stunning single called Georgina – and asked if I could remix it. They agreed and were really pleased with the result. We kept in touch and followed each others work, and I really like their approach to their music so I figured we should work together again.

Burudu: The idea came about to work on a track and we just went with it, it was really organic , and after a lot of back and forth we had a solid song. Eventually the idea of adding vocals to the track came about, Rikki suggested Amy and we absolutely loved her voice.

Amy: Rikki and I are good friends and I have always been a great fan off his chilled out music. In fact it tends to calm me whenever I struggle to get to sleep.

Rikki: Having remembered Amy singing in a Christmas event once, I figured I’d approach her.

Did the four of you work together in person or was this mostly an online collaboration?

Burudu: We wish we did. We were never in the same place.

Rikki: Well I believe, by the time we began the collab, Nakul & Sahil had moved back to India, having been in London. So that side of the collab was all online. Swapping emails, Skype-ing and swapping files over WeTransfer.

Amy: Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to meet Nakul and Sahil yet but heard their brilliant track when Rikki presented it to me. I have been recording acapella tracks and I believe Rikki introduced Burudu to my work. They were interested in including my vocals in the track they had created with Rikki.

Rikki: For Amy’s part, we spent 2 days (1 day per verse) at her flat, making-do with my little field recorder, some wine, and some chocolate.

Amy: So one night Rikki and I opened a bottle of wine to calm my nerves as I’m a novice at recording with others and used several methods to help my confidence which was wavering under the pressure. And I mean, I put pressure on myself when I make someone a cup of tea, so I’m going be nervous when I’m asked to add to something that is already beautiful. I really didn’t want to create something not worthy of the track. At one point I even made Rikki sit on the sofa with a cushion on his head for me.

The guys asked me to listen to the track and to create lyrics and a melody based on feelings that the music stirred up inside me. To me, it felt as though I was stressed and my mind filled with thoughts and worries. Worrying about how I can be myself in life when so much is expected of me. Where can I go to be allowed to be ‘ok’, ok with bad decisions I’ve made, ok with my funny quirks, ok to be my weight, ok to feel low. Then suddenly the music made me feel like I had walked into a golden corn field with the sun beating down on my skin. As I walked along I felt my fingers brush through the wheat completely releasing my anxiety. Knowing that troubles hadn’t gone, but in this place I could just be myself, whoever I want to be. Just BE.

I sketched down some of these words and very quickly in that one night it all came together. The lyrics written, melody created and my vocals recorded.

Since then Rikki has been liaising with Burudu on my behalf and between them they merged my vocals back into the track then emailed it over to me, which was very exciting.

What was the process like for each of you?

Rikki: Frickin’ awesome. The whole process, for me, feels like it has flowed 99% smoothly. Having learnt a bit about Burudu before the collab, knowing I liked their approach, I obviously made the right choice to collab with the guys. Each of us loved what the other did to the track each time; and our Skype chats were spent mostly agreeing with each other on what we wanted!! I was buzzing from their ideas! We obviously share the same Feels about music.

Nakul: The process was great, as mentioned earlier it was all very organic, nothing was forced and that’s when you really enjoy the process. We started working on this track sometime back and it took us a while to finish it, but keeping in mind that we had four of us sitting in four different parts of the world, I think we did alright.

Sahil: Rikki came along and added a bunch of instruments and sounds before Nakul finished the arrangement. It was all very spontaneous. There was quite a lot of sharing files between us. We thank WeTransfer entirely. It all started with guitars and the feel of the initial idea was quite different to the finished track.

Amy: This was just a new experience for me and very exciting. If I hadn’t been so nervous I believe I would have been able to produce smoother and more confident vocals but am very happy with the end result.

Rikki: The 2 days that formed Amy’s part were equally as awesome. I was literally bursting with excitement hearing what she was coming up with, but I had to keep calm so as not to disrupt her flow. But her flow was certainly flowing, even if her nerves made her think it wasn’t

What was the most important thing you learned from the collaboration?

Amy: So much, as this a new process for me every aspect of this journey has been eye opening and a learning curve for me. I have learnt to become more confident and that nerves only get in the way of success.

Rikki: That I can do collaborations after all, after having tried and failed in the past, mainly because I wanted what I wanted without having to compromise too much :) Recording vocals was also a new experience.

Nakul: Collaborations can be extremely inspiring, when one can witness different creative minds come together and create something, its always special. So yea I’ve learned that I quite enjoy collaborating with other artists.

Sahil: It was so fun. We’re going to be making more music together.

Was there any part of the process that put you out of your comfort zone? If so, what did you learn from that?

Amy: Oh yes, singing in front of others is something I have done before, but usually when singing covers of songs I have practiced and know the song inside out. I can then feel confident enough to play with the tune and vibrato to add a personal edge. However this is the first time since I was a child that I have tackled a vocal from scratch and I found it very difficult at first to sing in front of someone when the end product wasn’t polished.

Burudu: Nothing really put us out of our comfort zone. It was very chilled.

Rikki: No I don’t think so. Recording the vocals, although new, was exciting to do. I loved the whole process. It has been a fantastic experience.

Where did you draw your inspiration from for this track? (doesn’t necessarily have to be a musical source)

Rikki: I’m pretty “on the spot”, and often just go with what I feel at the time. Cheesy as it may sound, the track writes itself. Or the creativity leads me. Burudu’s love of emotion in music certainly inspired me after spending many years reluctantly accepting the notion that “emotion is cheesy”.

Burudu: Monkeys in the distance, drinking baileys, sunbathing.

Describe how you feel about the final product in a word or very short phrase.

Amy: Proud

Sahil: Open world

Nakul: A Journey

Rikki: RefreshedAndProud. There, that’s 1 word. :)

If you were going on national television to promote this track, what would you wear?

Sahil: Definitely socks.

Nakul: A heart-rate monitor.

Amy: Skinny jeans, a vest top and hoodie unless its somewhere warm, then I’d ‘feminize’ and wear a maxi dress and flip flops.

Rikki: Nothing. Clothes suck. But in case anyone has issues with that, an all black costume with LED lights patterned all over it. But not crazy flashing ones. Ones that gently phase in and out. It’s a chill track, and I am all about the full sensory experience.

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As one half of the Altered Echo Project I’d like to extend the gratitude of both Rick and myself to Amy, Rikki, Nakul and Sahil for taking time out of their lives to do this interview for us. The artists can be reached via the electronic means listed below.

The track is available on both BandCamp and SoundCloud

Amy Claire:

Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/amyclairevocals

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amyclairevocals

Twitter: @AmyClaireVocals

Burudu:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/burudu

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buruduofficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Burudumusic

Instagram: http://instagram.com/burudumusic

Rikki:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rikkisho

Artist Home Page: http://rikkisho.wix.com/rikki-sho-music

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